The production of molds in Portugal reached a value of 796 million euros in 2018

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As every year, CEFAMOL, the National Association of the Mold Industry of Portugal, has published a summary with statistical data in which it analyzes the sector. In 2018 the Portuguese Moulds Industry has been growing and consolidating its reputation in the international market, driven by external demand, integrated competences and capabilities, as innovative solutions, that offers to its clients.

Nowadays, the moulds sector has 540 small and medium enterprises (SME), dedicated to the conception, development and manufacture of moulds and tools, employing about 11 000 workers, with a bipolar geographical distribution, in Marinha Grande and Oliveira de Azeméis regions.

Portugal is among the world’s leading manufacturers of moulds, particularly in the area of injection moulds for plastics (8th worldwide, 3rd in Europe), currently exporting about 85% of total production.


In 2018, exports reached a value of 668 million euros (preliminary data) – best year ever for the 7th time in a row- being the total production approximately 796 million euros, representing the fact that Portugal, over the years, has demonstrated a high capacity of adaptation to the needs of its clients and to developments, whether of markets or technologies.

It’s an innovative and high-technology sector that exports the majority of its production. In 2018, the main markets were Germany, Spain, France, Czech Republic, USA and Poland.

The trade balance analysis of the over recent years shows a potential and export vocation of the sector, registering a consistent growth from 248 million euros in 2010, to 469 million euros, in 2018.


The analysis of previous graph highlights the strong and systematic export orientation of the sector (never below 75% of the production), having the lowest value registered in the years associated with the economic crisis. Moreover, this situation, which exists with greater intensity since 2007, also derives from the remarkable growth that the national Industry, especially plastics, has had over last years, often driven by the expansion of toolmaking companies’ value chain.

The total value of Portuguese exports amounted 668 million euros, in 2018, being the sales made to 85 different markets (countries), which demonstrates the international and global dimension of this Industry.

In terms of relevance and distribution through economic regions, the preponderance of the european market, especially EU, representing in recent years about 80% of total exports (in 2018 reach 83%), facing the increase in exports to the North America region in the last year. This fact is due to the constant growing of trust and investment on the USA, but also because of consistent bet on promotion by our industry close to the North American clients.


Analyzing the Portuguese foreign trade data, in 2018, it is noted that the main destinations of Portuguese exports were: Germany (22%), Spain (18%), France (12%), Czech Republic (7%) and United States (5%).

Top 10 is now completed with Poland, United Kingdom, Belgium, Austria and Mexico.

Statistical information concerning the main industries served by the moulds sector shows that the automotive industry has been consolidating its growth and importance in the development of the sector, having evolved from 14% of the total production in early 90’s to 82% in 2016. Another highlighted industry is packaging, representing 8% of moulds production.

However, it should be consider the presence of the sector in other major and high tech industries, contributing for the development of new products in the world economy and acting in new areas and segments.